The New York Virtuoso Singers

"The city’s outstanding concert choir..." — The New York Times

Recent Reviews

April 2017
"In the end we have a rich treasure of new choral works, beautifully performed. The experience of listening is a fundamental pleasure and a true voyage of discovery. With such a wealth of new music, it takes a bit of time to assimilate. But then all gradually comes alive for us. It is a true event, a milestone of what is happening now, 21st century choral music at its very best and in all its varied glory. You are in for a treat" --Grego Applegate Edwards, Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review on 25x25: 25 Premieres for 25 Years

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April 2017
"It’s surprising that more ensembles have not thought of this idea. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the New York Virtuoso Singers, a highly skilled chorus founded and directed by Harold Rosenbaum that specializes in contemporary music, commissioned 25 composers to write 25 short works. The results are terrific, over all, with vibrant new pieces by Stephen Hartke, Chen Yi, David Del Tredici, David Lang, William Bolcom, Fred Lerdahl and many more. They gave the premiere performances in two concerts and recorded all the pieces on this excellent two-disc album." -Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times --Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

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April 2017
For more than two decades, New York City audiences have been able to count on Rosenbaum's commitment to contemporary choral music for artistic excellence and integrity. [...] The composers who work with Rosenbaum have the happy knowledge that there is little they might compose that The New York Virtuoso Singers can't perform: contemporary composers can count absolutely on these singers' stunning musicianship and superb technique." proved scarcely to be hurdles for the singers, even in the thorniest of passages. And there were plenty of those provided to them on Sunday afternoon." -Jean Ballard Terepka

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April 2017
"All of the composers had done their homework, and composed with the formidable capabilities of NYVS in mind. The ensemble lived up to its reputation for peerless preparation, assaying all of the pieces with fortitude and an almost intimidating level of technical skill. Intonation and rhythm, regular pitfalls for mortal choirs, --Christian Carey, Sequenza21

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January, 2017
"Dazzlingly rendered by The New York Virtuoso Singers Quartet with Stephen Gosling at the piano. The Five Love Motets that follow call for a cappella vocal quartet, and here the four singers are even more impressive, foregoing any pitch reference from the piano"
-Opera News

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December, 2016
"What a great concept: mark 25 years of choral excellence by commissioning 25 composers to create new works! And thanks to this CD, one need not live in New York to experience the result. These performances are outstanding, as Harold Rosenbaum's Virtuoso Singers are known to deliver. Terrific ensemble, outstanding intonation, good diction, incisive rhythm, and expressive musicianship, all clearly recorded. If you prefer vapid washes of voices or bloodless blended purity, this style is different -- and the CDs make a strong case for vigorous, exciting, almost heart-on-sleeve singing by top-flight voices melded into an impressive whole. As to the compositions, there's great variety and some variation in quality, which is to be expected. By and large these composers know how to write idiomatically for chorus, to illuminate a text and to create compelling music. I'll wait to describe specific pieces until I can live with them all a while longer, but anyone who appreciates great choral composition will find some new favorites here. Anyone who wants to write for chorus should listen carefully for a crash course in the best of current American writing in all its diversity and vitality. I have already given this double CD set once as a gift and plan to do so again in the upcoming holidays."
--Christopher J. Hoh, HohMade Music on 25x25: 25 Premieres for 25 Years

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November, 2016
"It’s really amazing to hear a group like The New York Virtuoso Singers; their disciplined singing, complete with all the finer points in the traditional choral genre. David Felder’s Nomina sunt consequentia rerum, Joseph Schwanter’s Smoke, and David Lang’s The same train sung a cappella with intensity and syncopated notes were a treat indeed."
--Ricky Kej, Grammy award-winning composer

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November, 2016
Peter Scott Lewis has a vivid and idiosyncratic affinity for the human voice, as can be heard on ‘The Four Cycles’, a disc that spans four decades of creative activity. The performers include two vibrant soloists, mezzo-soprano Christine Abraham and soprano Susan Narucki, and the expert New York Virtuoso Singers Quartet conducted by the composer.
-Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone Magazine

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November, 2016
Hoover was pleased with the results. "I am still blown away by the amazing abilities of The New York Virtuoso Singers. Even while sight reading, they listen and blend and work together. Their enthusiasm for my work was a gift that I treasure. [...]Harold can grasp a difficult new score, particularly—but certainly not only—a choral score, extremely quickly, and he knows how to use rehearsal time with the utmost efficiency. He’s respectful of both composers and performers, and establishes a wonderful sense of working together for a rewarding end. What’s a composer not to like?!"


Part of a feature article by Ronald E. Grames, Fanfare Magazine

Click here to read select quotes>

To read the full article, please visit haroldrosenbaum.com/press

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November, 2016
One of the best of the professional groups is The (New York) Virtuoso Singers. Under its director, Harold Rosenbaum, it has specialized in fine performances of new and especially American choral music... Mr. Rosenbaum handled his forces extremely well.
-Barry O'Neal, New Music Connoisseur

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October, 2016
The music of San Francisco composer Peter Scott Lewis combines ingratiating surfaces — strong-boned tonal harmonies and melodic gracefulness — with secure structural underpinnings that keep everything logically in place. The results come through handsomely in this compilation of four song cycles of various hues and scales, all of them performed with delicacy and vigor. Two of the pieces are for vocal quartet (the aptly named New York Virtuoso Singers Quartet)...

-Joshua Kosman, SFGate

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September, 2016
This 4Tay Records release features the wonderful New York Virtuoso Singers led by the group’s founder, Harold Rosenbaum, who is a strong advocate for the music of contemporary composers. The Virtuoso Singers deliver fine performances of all these works.

-Maria Nockin, Fanfare Magazine

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October, 2014
The choral music of Nancy Wertsch is expertly written and appealing on a number of fronts...The New York Virtuoso Singers, under the capable leadership of Harold Rosenbaum, achieve a superb blend, enhanced by meticulous intonation (not an easy feat where there are no instruments upon which to secure one’s tuning). This is a remarkable CD in every parameter, and is highly recommended to anyone with the slightest interest in superb choral music and performance.
— Fanfare  

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October, 2014
…masterfully directed by Harold Rosenbaum and interpreted by New York Virtuoso Singers
(Alexandra Ottaway’s Four Choral Pieces on Navona Records)
— Sonograma Magazine, Spain  

December 24, 2012
It was an inspired idea to perform “The Creation” on 12-21-12 … (Mr. Rosenbaum) drew a radiant and joyous performance of this 100-minute score from the top-notch St. Luke’s players and the skilled Virtuoso Singers. … The singing of the Virtuoso Singers under Mr. Rosenbaum was full-bodied, confident and nuanced.
— Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

Read the full review >

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December 16, 2012
Mr. Rosenbaum has been a stalwart on the New York choral scene for decades, most notably with his professional chorus, the New York Virtuoso Singers.
— James R. Oestreich, The New York Times

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November 12, 2012
For more than two decades, New York City audiences have been able to count on Rosenbaum's commitment to contemporary choral music for artistic excellence and integrity. A relationship of camaraderie, respect and trust exists among the musicians, the composers, Rosenbaum and The New York Virtuoso Singers' audiences. This first concert of the celebratory season had an almost intimate feel to it: this was not an afternoon of pomp and grandeur, but of artistic conviviality and musical felicity.

The composers who work with Rosenbaum have the happy knowledge that there is little they might compose that The New York Virtuoso Singers can't perform: contemporary composers can count absolutely on these singers' stunning musicianship and superb technique.

The Canticum Novum Youth Choir sang Richard Rice's setting of the fifteenth century anonymous folk-hymn “Adam lay y-Bounden” with skill and sweetness; the final “Deo gratias!” was sturdy and confident.
— Jean Ballard Terepka, Theatrescene.net

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October 23, 2012
Now this is the way for an ensemble to celebrate an anniversary. The New York Virtuoso Singers, founded 25 years ago by the conductor Harold Rosenbaum, are an invaluable professional chamber choir that focuses on American contemporary music. … It takes confidence for an ensemble to put the word “virtuoso” in its name. The New York Virtuoso Singers have long earned it. All the performances were excellent.
— Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

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June 7, 2012
Rosenbaum's direction of The New York Virtuoso Singers and the Salomé Chamber Orchestra was, as always, authoritative, fluent and clear. Especially when he conducts new works, Rosenbaum's important gifts include an ability to make musicians feel at ease with material they have only recently encountered for the first time.
— Jean Ballard Terepka, Theatrescene.net

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June 1, 2012
Any audience attending a performance by the New York Virtuoso Singers, founded and directed by Harold Rosenbaum, can reasonably and accurately expect to hear gorgeous choral music. The audience who attended the May 13 concert had all their expectations met. The singing of each piece of this stylistically eclectic collection of works was marvelous. The New York Virtuoso Singers excel in music that presupposes the discipline of classical music training and demands the technical facility to navigate even the most unexpected contemporary musical challenges to the inherited Western tradition. The New York Virtuoso Singers are a superb chorus: the singers trust each other, their director and the music itself. The musicianship of the chorus, both individually and as a whole, together with Harold Rosenbaum's clarity of purpose, makes the performance of each piece a renewed inhabitation of each composer's creative intent rather than just a repetition of the notes on the score.
— Jean Ballard Terepka, Theatrescene.net

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May 13, 2012
It is always such a pleasure to work with Harold Rosenbaum and his NYVS. What sheer professionalism and dedication! So very much appreciated at any time, but perhaps especially so in these difficult economic times.
— Thea Musgrave

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May 2012
Dear Harold,
I wanted to express my heartfelt and sincere appreciation to you and to the wonderful group of 12 amazing singers you have assembled for the performance of my Credo/Ani Ma'amin.

I was not able to speak with each and every one of you after the concert, but hopefully this message will be forwarded to all.

The performance was really splendid, in every way. The singing was truly beautiful -- such immaculate pitch, precision, and a sense of "ownership": each and every one of you fully in charge of your music, whether solo or as part of the ensemble, singing expressively and with passion. The narrated sections were uniformly excellent, conveying the emotion of it all in just the right way. Tempi and pacing were right on throughout (bravo Harold!).

Your performance was everything it should have been musically, but it was clear that you also really "got it" at the human level and communicated your understanding to the listener powerfully and with great feeling.

I feel really indebted, and grateful.

Thank you, Harold, for making happen this first New York performance of the FULL version of a work that means so much to me, as a composer and as a human being.

I hope we all meet and collaborate again, soon!

With warm regards,
— Shulamit Ran

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January 4, 2009
My gratitude for the incredible performance.
— Osvaldo Golijov